New Year’s Resolution:  Post Bike Friday First Friday Fabulous Fixed Gears on time!

This time:  Red Bull is reborn.

Selling her to pave the way for the fixit, she was picked up by one Jesse Ratzkin.  Currently serving as a serial math geek, Jesse also invests his energy heavily in cycling. 

Jesse’s struggle up the academic ladder has taken him from California to Washington to Utah to Connecticut and lastly to his current position as a assistant professor at the University of Georgia.  He spends a fair bit of time, as one would expect, traveling about, doing lectures and presentations and seminars and conferences, and this is where the interest in a Friday comes in.

As far as his academic interests, Jesse’s field is that of geometric analysis, which, very roughly speaking, uses differentiation to study complex shapes.  This is exciting stuff, but well over my head, as it took me a few hours of research just to understand his research statement.  He does do some really interesting things, though, like studying Brownian motion, the random walk of particles.  He gets excited by things like showing "almost all triunduloids are nondegenerate."  I’m sure that sounds ridiculous but realize people are applying these studies to everything from CAD programs to the study of black holes and of the curvature of space-time, which interestingly enough has its application in satellite positioning.  So thank your lucky iPhone for people like Jesse.

Despite his multidimensional interests in math, though, he prefers his bicycles a bit more single-minded.  Previous to his Pocket Rocket Pro, he mainly rode an IRO Jamie Roy but shows three other submissions to the fixed gear gallery:  a Miyata for winter riding and an Alpina (recently replaced by a Voodoo Dambala)  for mountain biking.  All fixies, of course.  He even wrote an article (with pix of the Voodoo) on riding off-road fixed.  But he’s an advocate for all sorts of human powered transportation, having co-founded the Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective and being yet another Critical Masser.

So what will the next step for Jesse be?  Who knows, but I’m sure his Friday will be in tow.

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